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Josh Byrne’s seven goals lead Hofstra runaway vs. NJIT

Hofstra attacker Josh Byrne shoots and scores against

Hofstra attacker Josh Byrne shoots and scores against the New Jersey Institute of Technology in an NCAA lacrosse game at James M. Shuart Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

It was hard to find a place on the field that Hofstra did not score from in its 20-4 non-conference men’s lacrosse victory over NJIT Tuesday night at Shuart Stadium.

It may have been incredibly misty, but that did nothing to stop the host Pride’s offense, which scored nine goals in the second quarter to blow the game open and preserve Hofstra’s perfect start (3-0).

Attackman Josh Byrne led Hofstra with seven goals and two assists. Ryan Tierney added three goals and two assists.

Byrne is off to a hot start with 13 goals in the first three games. The college lacrosse world clearly has noticed, because Byrne was named to the Tewaaraton Award watch list Tuesday. The award honors the top lacrosse player in the country. It is the second consecutive year that Byrne was named to the watch list, which is limited to 50 players. The list gets narrowed down to 25 on April 27.

“I’m thrilled,” Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said. “It’s a deserved honor.”

The Hofstra captain, who was unaware of the honor until the postgame news conference, took the recognition in stride.

“It’s obviously an honor whenever you’re named to a list like that,” Byrne said. “But it doesn’t really mean anything. We’re focusing on Georgetown (Hofstra’s next opponent) now. I’m just ready to go.”

The Hofstra onslaught began 10 seconds into the second quarter when Brendan Kavanagh fired a shot from just inside midfield that found its way into the empty net.

“They were in a ten-man ride,” Kavanagh said, “ . . . so the net is open. Coach was yelling at me to take a look at the net, so I just shot it and was lucky it went in.”

The long-range goal revved up Hofstra’s offense, which controlled the ball for most of the first quarter but found the back of the net only twice. Byrne gave the Pride a 4-0 lead with 13:55 left and, after NJIT’s Ryan Darrow cut the lead to 4-1 with 12:57 left, Hofstra reeled off five straight goals to push the lead to 9-1 with 9:57 left in the half.

Hofstra outshot NJIT, 45-21, won 23 of 27 faceoffs and picked up 37 of 48 ground balls.

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